Home News Rare White Squirrel May be Heading for Pickaway County

Rare White Squirrel May be Heading for Pickaway County

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GROVEPORT –  Yes I called it a white squirrel not a albino squirrel and there’s a difference.  Scientist have discovered there is a rare gene in the Eastern Grey Squirrel that in rare cases shows itself with a pure white coat.  Rare to see because not only is the trait ultra rare but, as you can imagine predators can see a bright white squirrel a lot easier than a grey.
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“I first noticed him in late spring or early summer. He must have migrated here from another neighborhood. At first the other squirrels chased him away from my yard or he would run away when other squirrels would run the fence toward him. However, they grew accustomed to him and they all seem able to share the various food sources in our and neighboring yards. I think that he now shares a nest with the group in the neighbor’s tree,” said Susan Lutz.

 

So whats the difference between a white squirrel and an albino squirrel?  Albinos lack pigment in the eyes and skin also.  So if you were looking at an albino squirrel it would have pink eyes.  Where Albinism is a disease this has been identified as just a rare genetic trait in these squirrels. Below is a picture of a albino Squirrel.

In some areas where the white squirrel has survived for multiple generations you actually see this rare trait passed on more frequently.  With two reports in the area one in Groveport and one in New Albany, white squirrels may be here to stay in our area.  As they successfully breed the population of these white squirrels can possibly grow.

 

An amazing resource for this phenomenon located here:   

Thanks for the reports and photos given to me by bird and amateur photographer enthusiast:  Susan M. Lutz

3 COMMENTS

  1. FYI From the Ohio Division of wildlife “Albino squirrels do often have pink or blue eyes with white fur, however, not all white squirrels are albino. Our biologist commented that albino squirrels lack pigmentation anywhere on the body, including the eyes which commonly appear pink. The gene for albinism is recessive, so each parent must carry it to produce an albino squirrel. Albino squirrels are poorly camouflaged and often have vision problems, both of which are a disadvantage in the wild.”
    His eyes appear bluish to me if you zoom in to the picture.

  2. I live by Marcy, I have family of 3 white squirrels living in the woods in my back yard. They have been here for many years. I enjoy watching them in the morning along with my morning coffee.

  3. White squirrels are hardly “ultra-rare”. There are at least a dozen stable colonies in the Columbus area, with populations in the dozens. They also pop up more rarely at random in the general population. There are also colonies of BLACK squirrels throughout Ohio. In Van Wert, Oh, several colonies of black and white squirrels have migrated back and forth in the downtown and north areas, moving with population pressure. Both white and black are simply color phases of the common grey squirrel.

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